Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hash

This is something we often do for breakfast, but it makes for a fairly quick and easy dinner too. And who says you can't have breakfast for dinner? This is yet another one of those things that's a little different every time, but tonight I cut 2 large yukon gold potatoes into about a half inch dice then fried them in olive oil until they were starting to get tender. You can boil your potatoes first before frying them but I usually skip that step and as long as you dice them small enough and are patient when frying them, they'll get tender in your fry pan. Anyway, once the potatoes were almost done I added some diced seitan and a small diced onion, then some minced garlic and a little already-cooked kale that we had leftover from a few nights ago. It was seasoned with salt and pepper and a spice mixture something like Emeril's essence. (Yeah, we sometimes watch Emeril, even though he's often a pork fat eatin' fool. I think the only vegan item I've seen him make is a mixed drink. Still, he can be entertaining and believe it or not we occasionally get an idea from him for our own food.)

So once the hash was done, we just had it with some toast and it was a pretty quick dinner. Oh, and I like mine with some ketchup and hot sauce.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Burritos

If it were entirely up to me, I'd probably make burritos at least once a week. Darlene is not a huge burrito fan though so I don't do them as often. Tonight though I found just the right combination of ingredients in the fridge. That included some leftover pizza that Darlene had, then she just had a little of the burrito filling with some chips. We also had some of the tomatoes we used for the pizza sauce, a yellow squash that didn't make it into the pizza, some red bell pepper that didn't go into the veggie patties, some cilantro that was still hanging on from when we made the corn chowder, and even some tofu sour cream from way back when.

I don't know if I ever make the same burrito twice, but tonight I sauteed some diced onion, carrot, bell pepper, and squash in oil, added some minced garlic, a little chili powder, cumin, salt & pepper, then just a little of the strained tomatoes and a drained can of black beans. I mashed a few of the black beans with the back of a spoon, then I added some chopped cilantro and a splash of lime juice. And I rolled it all up in a tortilla with some more cilantro and some of the tofu sour cream and salsa.

Coconut Rice Pudding

Yesterday I was thinking about making rice pudding, then I realized we had some coconut milk left from when we made the peanut sauce. I also found a can of pineapple in the cabinet so I decided to do something a little different with my rice pudding. First I'll give you the original recipe. I think this was one of the first things I learned how to cook - in high school or maybe first year in college. I also think I found the recipe on a box of rice. I've since veganized it and tweaked it a little.

2 c. cooked rice
2 c. soy milk
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 of a 6 oz. package of silken tofu
2/3 c. raisins
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbs. vegan margarine

In a medium saucepan, combine rice, 1 1/2 cups of the soy milk, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it starts to get a little thicker, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, blend the silken tofu and the other 1/2 cup of soy milk in a blender until smooth and creamy. Add this mixture to the pan along with the raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla and cook for about 2 minutes longer. Turn off heat and add margarine, stirring until the margarine is melted.

For the coconut variation, replace 1 cup of the soy milk with coconut milk, and omit the raisins and add a can of pineapple chunks (drained). (Crushed pineapple would also be good.) I also replaced the vanilla with coconut extract but if you don't have coconut extract, don't worry about it.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Veggie Patties again

For tonight's meal, see my previous post on Jamaican veggie patties and coco bread. I'm still working on these recipes and tonight was another shot at it. I edited the original post with a few small changes to the recipes and I think they're in pretty good shape now. Anyone out there want to give it a shot and let me know how they come out for you?

We had a plantain I was going to fry and have on the side, but I was so involved in the patties and bread I forgot about it. Maybe it will show up here in the next few days...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Yellow Pizza

Not too long ago, I was listening to the Vegan Freak podcast and the interview with the folks from Liz Lovley Cookies (who make awesome vegan cookies). I checked out their web site, and in addition to info about their cookies, they have a blog on which I found this great recipe for a very quick pizza sauce made with Bionaturae® organic strained tomatoes. Not long after that I was in one of our local natural food stores and I found a bottle of said tomatoes. So that's the long-winded explanation of what made me think about making pizza.

The tomatoes are really good and the sauce came out great, though I halved the recipe and still had plenty for 2 pizzas. I used the pizza dough recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance, spread on some of the sauce, then put on some yellow squash that I sliced thin and coated with a little olive oil, and some caramelized yellow onions (slice 'em thin and saute in a little olive oil with about a teaspoon of sugar until they're nice and brown). I topped it all off with a nutritional yeast-based creamy sauce similar to one in Very Vegetarian. I may tweak this sauce if/when I make it again, but it came out pretty good, so here's a quick rundown of what I did - adjust it to your liking...

Toast 1/3 c. nutritional yeast and 1/4 c. flour over medium heat for a couple minutes in a small saucepan. Whisk in 1 c. of plain unsweetened soy milk, then add 1 tsp. miso, 2 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. yellow mustard, 1/4 tsp. paprika, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, and 2 Tbs. olive oil. Whisk everything together good and heat until it gets thick, then drizzle over the pizzas.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Chickpea Kibbeh and Kale with Tahini Sauce

We haven't made this before, but recently I was flipping through Very Vegetarian by Jannequin Bennett and I thought this looked interesting. According to the book, "kibbeh is a general term for a seasoned, shallow-fried patty". This one is made with chickpeas, bulgur, onions, garlic, and other seasonings blended in a food processor. Then you add some flour and baking powder, form them into patties and pan fry them. I also made something very much like the tahini sauce from the same book, with tahini, fresh lemon juice, cumin, salt, garlic, and a little soy sauce. The kale was just a big bunch chopped and sauteed in canola oil with a little onion and garlic.

The kibbeh came out pretty good and we'll probably make them again some time. Though getting all this together (and washing the resulting dishes) required a good bit of time in the kitchen. It's times like this I wish we had a dishwasher.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Cold Udon Noodles

We've been thinking about making this recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance for Cold Udon Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Seitan. I got all the veggies we needed at the grocery store today and when I got home Darlene was already making her favorite peanut sauce which is from The Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld (she likes the coconut milk in that recipe). Once the sauce was done, the rest of it followed the Vegan with a Vengeance recipe. It came together fairly quickly and the result was pretty to look at and very good to eat.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Chickpea Hijiki Salad Sammiches

This has become one of our favorites from Vegan with a Vengeance. It's another fairly quick meal that you can make with items you may already have in your pantry. We've made this recipe twice before with minor variations; tonight we pretty much followed the recipe in the book and it's definitely quite yummy in its original form. We finally found hijiki at one of our local natural food stores; prior to that we used arame in this recipe. They're both sea vegetables and are similar, but the hijiki definitely has a stronger sea vegetable taste.

The bread I made this weekend was sliced and put in the freezer on Monday and we toasted some of that for these sandwiches plus had a simple salad with romaine, carrots, slivered almonds and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Gnocchi with Broccoli and Pine Nuts

We do something similar to this fairly regularly since it can come together quickly on a weeknight when there's less time for cooking. Tonight it went like this: saute broccoli in plenty of olive oil, add lots of garlic and some toasted pine nuts, add gnocchi and a little white wine, season with salt & pepper, then cover and cook for a couple minutes until gnocchi is soft. We served it with a few olives sprinkled on top (these little nicoise olives we got at Trader Joe's recently are really good) and some toast with red pepper tapenade.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Pasta

A pretty simple meal tonight, with a salad and pasta. We made the Fettuccine Alfreda sauce from Vegan with a Vengeance and had that over some organic whole wheat spaghetti we got at Trader Joe's. We get whole wheat pasta from time to time, mainly because it's healthy, but often it doesn't taste quite as good as regular pasta. This spaghetti though was actually quite good and we'll probably buy it again. Oh, and the sauce was outstanding - I highly recommend trying it if you've got the book. It's mainly nutritional yeast and pine nuts with onions, garlic, veg. broth and some other seasonings - I'm sure it will show up here again soon.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Corn Chowder

I finally made bread again this weekend and I tried the soup-in-a-bread-bowl thing again - this time with the corn chowder recipe from the Don't Have a Cow zine that I mentioned a few days ago. Both the bread and the chowder turned out very good. If/when I make the chowder again I may reduce the amount of tofu to make it a little less chunky, but that's more of a personal preference. Here's the recipe (thanks to John at Don't Have a Cow):

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 pound block of tofu, cut into small cubes
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbs. ground sage
salt to taste
1 Tbs. finely minced fresh ginger
2 c. water
1 medium carrot, cut into coins
1 medium zucchini, diced
16 oz. bag frozen corn
1 can coconut milk
small bunch cilantro, chopped

Saute onion and tofu in oil for about 10 mins. Add all the spices (through the ginger) and cook for another minute or so, then add the remaining ingredients except cilantro. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add cilantro in the last 5 minutes.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Cashew Butter Sandwiches

It was only a matter of time before we came back to this one. Dinner tonight was pretty simple, with a salad and these sandwiches from Moby's teany book. We wrote about these once before and I'm sure we will again. Tonight we had them on sourdough which was really pretty good. (I thought about making these again after I saw Thursday's lunch on the Vegan Lunch Box.)

Cupcakes!

Just because you're vegan doesn't mean you can't have a sweet tooth. Today I made the Lemon Gem Cupcakes from Vegan with a Vengeance and they were quite delicious.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Back to Ming

We only eat out occasionally, but when we do we probably end up at Ming Dynasty more often than any other place. We do love Chinese food and there are plenty of vegan options at Ming. Typically we're not huge fans of mock meats, but sometimes they're just fine. It's amazing what can be done with soy and wheat protien. Tonight I had a wheat protien-based "pork" with shredded carrots and celery in a sweet-spicy garlic sauce. Darlene had soy protien-based "beef" with mixed vegetables in a basic brown sauce. We also had spring rolls (a little deep fried food never hurt anyone... or did it?) but we upped the healthy factor just a little by getting brown rice with our meal as we usually do.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Tempeh with Satay Sauce

This is our favorite recipe from an older cookbook we have called One-Pot Vegetarian Dishes by Amy Cotler (which seems to be out of print now): tempeh fried with sweet onions in a peanut sauce and served on a roll. We had some bok choy left from a couple nights ago so we had that on the side, sauteed in peanut oil with a little soy sauce and lemon juice. The tempeh/sauce goes like this:

1 medium sweet onion, sliced
1/3 c. unsalted roasted peanuts
3 Tbs. soy sauce
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbs. ground corriander
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 clove garlic
cayenne to taste
2 Tbs. water
1 8-oz. package tempeh, cut in half cross-wise and split down the middle so you have 4 equal pieces

In a food processor, blend 1 slice of the onion and the remaining ingredients (except tempeh) until smooth. In a large skillet, saute the rest of the onions in peanut oil for a couple of minutes, then move onions to the side and add the tempeh pieces. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Then add about 1 tablespoon of the sauce to the top of each piece of tempeh. Flip the tempeh over and add more sauce to the other side, then add the rest of the sauce to the pan. Mix everything around and cook for a few more minutes. Serve each piece of tempeh on a roll with some onions on top.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Salad and Sandwiches

A pretty quick dinner tonight. Darlene made a tofu sandwich spread which we had on some ciabatta rolls I picked up at the store yesterday and we still had some red leaf lettuce left from last week so we finished that off in a salad (and saved a few pieces for the sandwiches). For the sandwich spread, we had half a block of tofu left from last night's dinner so that got mashed in a bowl and then mixed with:

1/4 c. Vegenaise
2 tsp. whole grain mustard
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp. turmeric
salt & pepper to taste
1 stalk celery, diced
2 Tbs. chopped sweet pickle

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Chop Suey

We were recently sent a copy of a great vegan zine called Don't Have a Cow. It's packed full of recipes and thought provoking commentary (and generally keeps a sense of humor about it all). This recipe looked good so we decided to give it a try - it didn't disappoint.

vegetable oil (we used peanut oil)
8 oz. firm tofu, cut into small cubes
2 stalks celery, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
about 3 c. bok choy, chopped
2 Tbs. miso
2 Tbs. water
2 Tbs. soy sauce or Bragg's
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
3 scallions, chopped
2 c. fresh spinach

Saute tofu, celery and mushrooms in oil on medium-high heat until the tofu starts to brown a little, about 5 minutes. Spread the bok choy on top but don't stir it in. Cover, turn down heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together miso, water, soy sauce and ginger in a small bowl. After the veggies have cooked for 10 minutes, pour in this mixture and stir everything together. Spread the scallions and spinach on top, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Then mix everything together and serve. We had it over brown rice.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Thai Inspired "Beefless" Stew

This is a modified version of the "Beefless" Stew from Cooking with PETA. We had it with sourdough bread toasted and spread with vegan margarine.

1 c. T.S.P. chunks, reconstituted with 2 c. boiling water and 1 tsp. lemon juice
(We use the NOW brand which you can find at your local natural food store or on-line)

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 med. onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, cut into bite-sized rounds
1 clove garlic, minced
3 c. water
1 can coconut milk (16 oz.)
1 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
2 veg. boullion cubes
1/2 tsp. thai green curry paste, or more to taste
3 yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in a little water

In a medium stock pot, saute onion, celery & carrots in olive oil for several minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so, then add TSP chunks (with their soaking water), and remaining ingredients through the potatoes. Mix well, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 mins. Then add cornstarch mixture and cook a few minutes more. For a thicker stew, mash some of the potatoes at the end. Garnish with chopped scallions.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Jerk Seitan

I finally used some of the seitan I made last weekend. We wrote about this dish last month and tonight's dinner was very similar - jerk seitan from Vegan with a Vengeance on top of mashed potatoes. On the side we had some collards. These collards had been in our fridge for a while and were looking a little past their prime, but I salvaged enough for 2 small servings. I sauteed a little finely diced onion in olive oil, then added the collards and a little water and soy sauce, then covered and simmered for about 20 minutes.

What's interesting about doing this blog is it's easy to figure out when we last made something. The collards have been in the fridge at least since we made the white bean soup on Jan. 3. I don't recommend that you keep yours around for that long ;-)

Sunflower

We're in Northern Virginia again, visiting Darlene's brother and stocking up on affordable groceries at Trader Joe's. There are a lot of good options in this area for eating out, but we often come back to our favorite, Sunflower. It's so nice to go to a restaurant and to be able to order anything on the menu. Last night Darlene had a dish with soba noodles, tofu, mushrooms, asparagus and other veggies. I had Popeye's Favorite, which the menu describes as a "potato pie mixed with spinach, soy protein and vegi-bacon in house black pepper sauce". I have no idea how they make this, but it was 2 patties that had a crispy coating, with a yummy spinach and potato mixture on the inside. And the black pepper sauce was quite good - spicy, but not overly so.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Cheesecake

Dinner tonight was a salad and some leftovers from previous nights, so I thought I'd share this cheesecake recipe. We served it with leftover blueberry sauce from the french toast. It's from Sinfully Vegan by Lois Dieterly and if you like dessert you'll definitely like this book. We took a shortcut and used a store bought graham cracker crust so we halved the filling recipe, but otherwise this is straight from the book so we definitely can't take credit for the recipe.

For the filling, blend 2 8-oz. containers Tofutti cream cheese until smooth, then blend in 1/2 of a 12-oz. package silken tofu, 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and 2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. flour. Pour into pie crust and bake at 350° for 50 minutes with a pan filled with water underneath.

Meanwhile, for the topping, blend the other half of the silken tofu, 1 Tbs. canola oil, 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt, 3/4 c. sugar, and 3/4 tsp. vanilla in the food processor until smooth. After the cheesecake has baked for 50 minutes, pull it out, carefully spread on the topping, then bake for another 10 minutes. Now turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in there for an hour. Then pull it out, allow it to cool completely and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

The part about refrigerating overnight is important to get the right consistency. We wanted to have this for Darlene's birthday last night, but we didn't get started on it until later in the afternoon since we didn't think about that step. Which is why you should always read the entire recipe before making something like this. Anyway, we got anxious and had some cheesecake before we refrigerated it. It was still good, but the texture was much better the next day.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Garlicky Goodness

Darlene's birthday dinner was fairly simple but quite yummy. I sliced 4 cloves of garlic as thinly as possible, sauteed them in a generous amount of olive oil with a little salt and pepper, then added a can of artichoke hearts (drained and chopped), a big handful of chopped kalamata olives, about 1 Tbs. capers, and a handful of toasted pine nuts. Meanwhile I cooked some pasta, then combined everything, added a little more olive oil, and seasoned again with salt & pepper. We also had some bread left from this morning's french toast so we made that into garlic bread. We started with a salad of red leaf lettuce, carrots, and toasted pine nuts which had a dressing made from fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, mustard powder, and salt & pepper.

Cashew French Toast

Today's Darlene's birthday and I'm taking the day off work. Her birthday breakfast was this cashew french toast with blueberry sauce. The french toast recipe is based on one from the Horn of the Moon Cookbook by Ginny Callan. This book is a holdover from our vegetarian pre-vegan days and can be a little heavy on eggs & dairy, but it does have some good vegan recipes in it and others that can be easily veganized. I won't go into all the details on the recipe because you probably already have an idea about how to make french toast (or can find a recipe in a any cookbook) but here's the recipe I used for the batter:

1/3 c. cashew pieces (roasted, unsalted)
2 Tbs. sunflower seeds (unsalted)
2 Tbs. sesame seeds
1 1/4 c. soy milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Blend cashews & seeds in a food processor until a paste starts to form (this can take a few minutes). Scrape down the sides then add soy milk and vanilla and process again until you have a very smooth, creamy batter.

The blueberry sauce is just frozen blueberries heated with a little sugar and thickened with cornstarch.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Black-eyed Pea and Quinoa Croquettes

It was back to Vegan with a Vengeance tonight and these croquettes definitely rock. Mashed black-eyed peas are mixed with quinoa and spices, formed into little patties, dredged in a bread crumb mixture and baked. Like the recipe suggests, we served them with extra quinoa and the very tasty mushroom sauce. We didn't have a lot of mushrooms so I halved the recipe for the sauce but there still was plenty. Though it's so good I should've made the whole recipe and saved some for later. We also had a simple salad of red leaf lettuce, carrots, slivered almonds and a dressing of sesame oil, rice vinegar and a splash of soy sauce.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Split Pea Soup

Darlene wanted something mellow for dinner so I thought about soup. Then I thought about listening to last week's Erik's Diner podcast today and the interview with Isa Chandra Moskowitz. At one point she mentioned that she likes curry spices with her split pea soup. So that's what we did tonight. It was very similar to the split pea soup we've already written about, but instead of marjoram and bay leaf for the seasoning, I added corriander, cumin, turmeric, and some cardamom pods. I also added some finely diced fresh ginger. Like bay leaves, the whole cardamom pods impart flavor but are not good to eat, so make sure you count how many you add (I used 6) so you can fish them all out when the soup's done.

Oh, and we had the soup with some toast spread with a red pepper tapenade. The tapenade came from a jar that was part of my Christmas gift from my parents and it's pretty tasty.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Calzones

We have an old bread machine and though we used to use it quite a bit, it's mostly been sitting in the cabinet lately. A little over a week ago we decided to take it out and make some basic bread with garlic. Unfortunately the bread machine had quit working. It turned on and sounded like it wanted to mix the dough, but it wasn't mixing. So I scooped out all the ingredients and kneaded the dough by hand. Then we decided to freeze the dough and save it for later. I transferred the dough from the freezer to the fridge yesterday and tonight we made calzones with it. Darlene used to make these regularly but we haven't had them in quite a while. For the filling, I sauteed a little seitan and some onion, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms and garlic. I seasoned it with salt & pepper and some dried basil and oregano. I also added a few chopped black olives and about a tablespoon of capers. Darlene put them together and we baked them at 450 for about 10 minutes. We served them with some sauce we still had in the fridge from when we made pizza.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Nothing interesting

We went snowboarding this afternoon and by the time we got home we didn't feel much like cooking. Plus we needed to use up some leftovers. Darlene made a little pasta and had that with peas and veggie broth, we had some corn bread from last night, and I had some of the white bean/collards soup from a few nights ago. We also had some toast spread with a red pepper tapenade out of a jar. Kind of a strange meal I guess, but some nights are like that. I also made some seitan which I'm sure will show up here soon.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Chili and Corn Bread

This idea came about because of some items in the fridge we needed to use up. About half a can of black beans left from our New Year's brunch; half a bell pepper left from the veggie patties; plus most of a can of diced tomatoes left from I'm not sure when. I threw the chili together without a recipe, but it went someting like this: Saute diced onion, bell pepper, carrot, and a few sliced mushrooms in oil, add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano, add tomatoes and black beans, plus a can of kidney beans and some frozen corn.

Before I did that, I put in the oven the Basic Vegan Skillet Corn Bread from Peter Berley's The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Stir Fry

Before Christmas, Amazon was blowing out this Calphalon stir fry pan for 22 bucks so we decided to get one. (We also picked up copies of Vegan Freak and Erik Marcus' Meat Market - both excellent books.) The pan just came yesterday so I had to give it a whirl for tonight's dinner. We didn't have much in the fridge, but there was some green cabbage in there and we almost always have onions, carrots, ginger and garlic on hand. I also added some cashews and made a sauce from apple cider, soy sauce, rice vinegar and cornstarch. Since we had rice with dinner last night, we did something different and had our stir fry with quinoa.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Vegetable Medly

Here's another one from a back issue of Vegetarian Times, with some minor variations. Long story short; the veggies were brussels sprouts, button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, diced sweet potato, carrot cut into matchsticks, chickpeas, kale, and garlic. Brussels sprouts were steamed, the other veggies were sauteed until almost soft, then everything was combined with a sauce of 1/4 c. soy sauce, 3/4 c. plain soy milk, and 1/3 c. nutritional yeast and cooked a minute or two longer. We served it with brown rice.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Maharaja

Every Wednesday afternoon, our favorite local radio station, WNRN, gives away a $25 gift certificate to Maharaja, one of our local Indian restaurants. I've often called in and tried to win without success, but a couple of weeks ago I finally won. Tonight we didn't feel like cooking so we used the gift certificate for a cheap dinner out.

If you're very firm about getting every bit of dairy out of your diet, you should ask about the use of ghee (clarified butter) and yogurt at Indian restaurants. Some use these ingredients more liberally than others. At Maharaja, we've asked and they don't use ghee in any of their vegetable curries. So as long as you get something that's not in a cream sauce you should be OK.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

White Bean Soup with Collards

Here's something easy and very good for you that we found last year in an issue of Vegetarian Times. Chop a large onion and saute in olive oil for a few minutes, then add 2 c. water, 1 tsp. tarragon, 1/2 tsp. salt (or more to taste), and about 3 c. finely chopped collard greens. Boil for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, drain 2 cans of white beans. Mash about half the beans with a little water and mix into the soup. Add the remaining beans and cook until heated through.

A side note on Vegetarian Times. While we can't give them a ringing endorsement because, especially lately, a lot of their recipes aren't vegan, we have subscribed quite often in the past. It seemed like there was a period of time when most of their recipes were vegan, but nowadays sometimes less than half of the recipes are. You can still find some good vegan recipes in there though so if you can get a screaming deal on a subscription maybe it's worthwhile. Or you could always just flip through a copy at your local bookstore or library to see if there's anything interesting in there.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Jamaican Veggie Patties and Coco Bread

Way back in my pre-veg days when I went to school in Gainesville, Florida, I used to scarf down tons of Jamaican meat patties and veggie patties at a little take-out place called Caribbean Spice. For some reason, recently I had an epiphany and figured I should try to make something similar. I poked around the web, but couldn't find a good recipe for the veggie patties, though I did find recipes for the meat patties which gave me some ideas. The patties are often served with coco bread which is sort of a pocket bread and you can put the patty inside the bread and eat them both together. I swiped a recipe for coco bread from somewhere on-line and veganized it. When I made it, I didn't roll it out thin enough and it poofed up a little too much for easily putting the patty into, but I think I've remedied that in the recipe that follows. I'll probably continue tweaking the recipes, but here's how they stand now.

Coco Bread

2 packages active dry yeast
2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 c. warm water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. plain soy milk
1/4 c. soy yogurt
3 c. flour
2 Tbs. margarine, melted

Dissolve the yeast in the water, let it sit for a couple minutes, then mix in salt, sugar, soy milk and yogurt. Add flour and mix until it becomes stiff. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn it around until it's well coated. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise for 1 hour.

Then remove dough from bowl, punch it down and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a large thin circle (8-10 inches). Brush with margarine and fold in half. Brush again with margarine and fold in half again so you end up with a quarter circle. Brush the top with a little more margarine and place on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Repeat with remaining pieces. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise again for 45-60 minutes. (You need to leave enough room between them so they can rise a little so it's best to use 2 sheet pans with 4 pieces on each pan.) Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes or until they're just the slightest bit brown on the bottom.

Veggie Patties

For the crust:
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 stick (1/2 c.) vegetable shortening
1/2 c. very cold water

For the filling:
1 Tbs. canola oil
1/4 head green cabbage, finely shredded
1 medium carrot, grated,
1/2 a medium green bell pepper, diced
2 small roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. allspice
pinch nutmeg

For the crust, sift together flour, salt, turmeric and curry powder in a large bowl. Cut shortening into small pieces and cut into flour mixture with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture is crumbly. Make a well in the center and add water. Mix gently until a dough forms, then wrap dough in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté cabbage, carrot and bell pepper in oil until they're starting to get tender. Add tomatoes, salt, and spices and cook for a few more minutes until tomatoes are starting to break down and any liquid has cooked off. Remove from heat and let cool a little.

To assemble patties, remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 10 equal portions (if you have a kitchen scale, they should be around 1.8 oz. each). On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a 6-inch circle. Brush a little water around the edge of the circle and place about 3 Tbs. of filling in the middle. Fold in half and crimp the edges with a fork then gently pierce the center with the fork to allow steam to escape. Once all patties are assembled, bake on a lightly oiled sheet pan at 425° for 25 minutes or until they're just starting to brown a little.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Years Brunch

We had a few friends over for brunch today for a compassionate start to the new year. We didn't get around to taking many pictures, but the one included here is a small part of the spread.
Here's the menu:

Bread with Chocolate-hazelnut Spread
(we're still working on this recipe)

Blueberry Muffins with streusel topping
(veganized recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison)

Lemon Corn Waffles with Blueberry Sauce

Scrambled Tofu 2 ways
(1 way like the linked recipe, 1 way without the mushrooms, thyme & turmeric, but adding oregano, chili powder, fresh spinach, black beans & salsa)

Tempeh Bacon

Roasted Potatoes with fresh thyme and rosemary

Fig Cookies; Candy Cane Cookies